Here are the main events that occurred in Politics this week:
1. CDC: Omicron Cornavirus Variant Less Severe Compared To Earlier Variants
Federal health officials reported on January 25 that the Omicron COVID variant caused less severe illness in hospitalized patients than earlier virus lineages, even though its explosive transmissibility has caused far more infections and led to more than 2,200 deaths a day on average, one of the highest tolls since early last year. Researchers at the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention said that people hospitalized with the omicron variant had shorter stays and less frequent admission to intensive care compared with those hospitalized with other coronavirus variants.
2. Atlanta Prosecutor Begins Investigation Into Former President Donald Trump’s Election Interference Efforts
The Atlanta area prosecutor weighing whether former President Donald Trump and others committed crimes by trying to pressure Georgia election officials has been granted a special purpose grand jury to aid in her investigation. Fulton County Superior Court judges on January 24 approved the request made last week by Fulton County District Attorney Fani Willis and said she will be allowed to seat a special grand jury on May 2, the Atlanta Journal-Constitution reported. The special grand jury can continue for a period “not to exceed 12 months,” Christopher Brasher, chief judge of Fulton County Superior Court, wrote in an order. “The special purpose grand jury shall be authorized to investigate any and all facts and circumstances relating directly or indirectly to alleged violations of the laws of the State of Georgia, as set forth in the request of the District Attorney referenced hereinabove,” he added. “The special purpose grand jury … may make recommendations concerning criminal prosecution as it shall see fit.”
3. Supreme Court Clears Way For Release Of Trump Presidential Records To January 6 House Select Committee
The Supreme Court cleared the way on January 26 for the release of presidential records from the Trump White House to a congressional committee investigating the January 6, 2021, attack on the US Capitol. The court’s order means that more than 700 documents will be transferred to Congress that could shed light on the events leading up to the insurrection when hundreds of rioters converged on the Capitol attempting to stop certification of the 2020 presidential election results. Only Justice Clarence Thomas said publicly that he would have granted former President Donald Trump’s request to block the document handover from the National Archives to the House select committee. No other justices made an objection public. The Biden White House supports releasing the records to the committee, after determining the disclosure is in the nation’s best interest and declining to assert executive privilege.
4. President Joe Biden Discusses First Year Record, Agenda For 2022 In First News Conference In 10 Months
President Joe Biden escalated his partisan rhetoric on January 19 during his first news conference in 10 months, laying the blame for his stalled agenda at the feet of Republicans and suggesting on the eve of his first anniversary that he has been surprised by their intransigence. “I honest to God don’t know what they’re for,” Biden said at one point during his nearly two-hour exchange with reporters. “What is their agenda?” He said the Republican Party is thoroughly cowed by former president Donald Trump. “Did you ever think that one man out of office could intimidate an entire party where they’re unwilling to take any vote?” Biden asked.